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A sea view that matters

The disturbing nature of the global climate crisis is well illustrated by new footage of one of Scotland's mysterious sea mounts.

Film shot by a robot submarine has revealed for the first time the variety of deep-sea life supported by this volcanic mass, whose peak is a kilometre below the surface of the Atlantic.

Yet the scientist who obtained it says this may be a final glimpse of the coral and other species in this fragile ecosystem.

Changes brought about by increasing levels of carbon dioxide are rendering the sea more acidic and threatening the habitat. An interdependent web of life which has been developing for thousands of years could be eliminated in less than 100.

Protecting biodiversity is not just about ethics, it is almost certainly in our own interests too.

We know uncharted areas and species in the Amazon have helped solve medical problems. So too have chemicals sourced from deep-sea organisms.

Beneath the oceans is the biggest living area on the planet, and the most unexplored. As climate change advances and nations contemplate mineral exploitation of the sea bed, we ignore the threat to it at our peril.

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